Saturday, September 21, 2013

Home Cooking - Time for a Little Comfort

Saturday is my morning to sleep in, the luxury of being at home, followed by a nice leisurely breakfast, perhaps some Amish bacon. Oh wait!  There's honey cured ham in the refrigerator as well.

Then I can  turn on an extra light and curl up on the couch in the office with a book before cleaning and other chores.
But I ended up waking early.  About 5:30 a.m. Barkley came to the bedroom door, shaking his head side to side.  Jingle, Jingle, as his tags clacked together.   "Go back to bed" I said.  He stood there and shook his head again, and again, and again. Great, it's OCD (obsessive compulsive dog).  I got up and checked to make sure his collar was comfortable, then checked his ears, as he is prone to ear infections when allergy season is really bad, which it was lately.  Shake Shake Jingle Jingle. The ear checking  involved 92 pounds of  Labrador retriever twerking and several wrestling holds that would make WWF proud but it showed some inflammation that wasn't there a couple days ago.  So off to the vet we'd go when they opened.

He got some care and medicine at the Vet's for his ears to clear them up.  Plus he got a treat from each vet tech that stopped by to pet him with a "oh, it's a black lab!" as he gave everyone that  "No one has given me ANYTHING" look. 
He's settled in and resting (hey Barkley, the dog bed is the one on the floor!) but I was feeling hungry, and it was now more lunch time than breakfast time. Plus, I'm tired as well, cleaning can wait a bit. Some Saturdays are just meant for comfort food and a little lounging around with your best friend.

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Pot Pie

You know how on some menus, they have the little heart symbol, to indicate something healthy?  Well this dish, with bacon fat, ham, lard and crème fraîche would have the little heart, PLUS some C4.
The lard (wonderful rendered stuff from my favorite butcher) goes in the pie crust, that with flour, vinegar and such, making the tenderest, flakiest pie crust (I doubled the recipe, the other crust  was part of a peach pie that was made for colleagues) 

For the pot pie, I rolled the pastry out into individual ramekin sizes, with the extras frozen for a bachelor cooking night.

The filling had honey roasted ham, (sauteed in a little bacon fat to crisp up the edges) chicken breast,  fresh veggies and a caramelized onion/garlic/herb blend that mingled very well with a sauce made of chicken stock, crème fraîche and a splash of cooking Sherry.

Sure, it will never make the doorstop that those frozen Costco pot pies will, but it would make about any one feel better.

Saturday didn't start off as planned but it sure ended pretty well.